BAR-funded R4D facility in Marilog, Davao expands BSWM research centers

DA-BAR director Dr. Junel B. Soriano graced the groundbreaking ceremony of the DA-Bureau of Soils and Water Management (BSWM)'s Upland Research and Development Center (URDC) in Marilog, Davao on 31 May 2022. The URDC, funded by DA-BAR, is BSWM's fourth research center, focusing its services on providing appropriate soil and water conservation practices in uplands. 

Joining him in the said program were DA-BSWM director Pablo M. Montalla,  DA-BSWM National Soil & Water Resources Research and Development Center (NSWRRDC) center chief and project leader Henry A. Apolinares, and selected key officials and staff of DA-BAR and DA-BSWM. 

Director Soriano commended DA-BSWM for their initiative in providing means to protect and conserve the country's soil resources. He emphasized the importance of utilizing the most appropriate technologies towards an effective and sustainable farming in the upland areas. 

He also added that these technologies would benefit students who wish to learn technologies and techniques; LGUs and other stakeholders, where they can use data on managing their uplands; NGOs and people’s organizations which can help them in developing society, improving communities and promoting citizen participation; and more importantly, the farmers of the region and beyond. 

DA-BSWM-URDC houses two research for development (R4D) facilities which will showcase technically feasible, cost-efficient, socially acceptable, and environment-friendly soil and water management technologies. This will be utilized by farmer groups, students, researchers, LGUs, and NGOs, among others. In particular, it will benefit the Nuvo-Manobo and Nuvo-Matigsalog tribes, with the introduction of these soil and water conservation technologies appropriate in the upland as well as right management practices. 

At present, DA-BSWM has three national research centers for Pedo-Ecological Zones in lowland-upland, highland, and hillyland. With the establishment of the DA-BSWM-URDC, the bureau is able to expand its soil and water research initiatives, particularly in addressing the growing concern on deforestation in upland areas. The center will facilitate the implementation of soil health programs and conduct research and technology demonstrations. (### Geline Nicole A. Morillo)